1. How can we view the progress of the child?
Or How are assessment and evaluation done?
At Anubhav Montessori, we focus on observing the child and understanding their needs. This observation is similar to assessments in traditional schools. Quarterly we have an evaluation in a written format based on the observation after repeatedly working with the child to fill the gaps. Every child is unique and has a certain growth pattern. We follow Montessori philosophy which defines a set of guidelines that are age-appropriate to the child's needs and capacity. This provides a complete picture of a child’s accomplishments in all aspects of their total behavior i.e, life skills, interests, mathematics, language, culture which includes history, geography, grace, and courtesy.
2. Can children do whatever they want in the Montessori classroom?
Montessori classrooms offer a thoughtfully prepared environment rich with developmentally appropriate learning material that invites children to explore igniting their curiosity and interests. Dr. Montessori recognized that children who are given independence are much more motivated to learn than when directed by others.
Children out of curiosity explore the activities displayed; some activities catch their interest and they continue to work on them. The guides/teachers find an opportunity to present the activity, challenging them in their field of interest to explore new ideas.
The guides are trained observers of children and invite children to branch out and grow intellectually as they master skills and content. The guides present the work based on a curriculum that is conveyed through their work.
3. Montessori classrooms are unstructured.
When a parent who is accustomed to the traditional approach, enters the prepared environment for the first time, they may find it unstructured. But a closer look at the prepared environment reveals how well it supports children, how it is peaceful and conducive to learning. Children can move about the classroom selecting work, (the previous activity prepares the child for the upcoming activity) takes it to their selected workplace, repeat the activity as many times as they want, and then return it to its definite place. Children are all working on different activities. The activities have control of error built-in enabling them to work without adult supervision, hence boosting their self-esteem and confidence. Guides facilitate only when children ask for assistance or need to be refocused or would like an introduction to a new activity/concept. This empowers the children, and they explore and learn new concepts and ideas.
4. Montessori children cannot keep pace with the traditional school curriculum as they grow older.
The Montessori approach empowers children to explore and learn new concepts and ideas. They tend to solve problems themselves and think independently. The complex concepts are understood concretely, and after several repetitions, they master the concepts to further move to abstraction, unlike the traditional schools where children are taught in the abstract and rote method. They move ahead at a faster pace since they are often studying these concepts with great personal interest. Hence these self-motivated children are invariably ahead of children from traditional schools.
5. Montessori education works only for a single kind of learner.
Humans use different combinations of learning, i.e, visual, auditory, kinetic, and kinaesthetic. The combination of approaches in the Montessori environment caters to a wide range of learners. The facilitators offer a combination of approaches through methods of instruction and a concrete way of learning. The guides give a presentation to a single child or a small group. Hence the guide is also able to track the progress of each student. The guides are personally aware of the strengths and challenges of each child. Multi-age classrooms naturally provide additional time and support for students who need it and allow talented students to move ahead as per their levels of interest and challenge.